10 Effective Steps You Can Take to Develop Self-Compassion
Who have you hurt the most in your life?
Have you ever ignored your inner voice and listened to the voices of others before making a decision?
Have you understood yourself enough in difficult times?
These questions can be multiplied countless times.
Self-compassion is a concept defined by psychologist Christine Neff based on Buddhist psychology as a positive attitude towards oneself and a healthy attitude towards oneself. It has 3 main components: “self-kindness”, “human common sense” and “conscious awareness”. In other words, self-compassion can be defined as the ability to offer ourselves the understanding and support we need during difficult times.
Because the world we live in contains more matter than man, we often feel deficient, incomplete, and inadequate.
We constantly need to prove ourselves in our social environment, family or work, and we try to meet the established standards.
When we are not aware of this situation, we constantly retaliate against ourselves for not following or not following the norms.
Ibn Arabi has a very good saying about this: “A small person is a miniature of the big world,” he says.
Just as we don’t blame volcanoes for eruptions, just as we don’t reward trees for continuing to grow and take root, it must be recognized that people sometimes erupt with anger or fear, and sometimes continue to take root with love and compassion. Because it’s all part of the continuity of life.
Bluth and Eisenlore Mole conducted a 2017 study examining the relationship between self-compassion and mental health changes.
In this study, 47 young adults during the stressful period of adolescence were enrolled in an eight-week self-compassion and awareness program.
He then examined the impact of the program on the negative, i.e. perceived tension, anxiety, and depression, and the positive, i.e., resilience, curiosity, positive risk taking, and satisfaction.
The results showed that there was an increase in positive outcomes during the program and in the following six months, while negative outcomes only reduced the level of perceived stress.
While self-compassion changed negatively with perceived stress and depression over time, it changed positively with difficulty resistance and positive risk taking.
In her popular 2013 TEDx talk, Christine Neff explained why self-compassion works so well:
“Imagine a child who gets a bad grade in math comes home from school sad. Parents may respond with harsh criticism, including expressions of disappointment, anger, or even embarrassment. He may yell at the child and doubt his intelligence. Within a short time, the child can work more. However, over time, the child may become depressed and completely abandon mathematics. Because the consequences of another failure are very serious.
Alternatively, the parent can respond with compassion to the child, noticing and acknowledging the child’s frustrations and feelings (eg, “I can see how upset you are. Time and maintain a balanced outlook” (eg, “There are many exams ahead. Let’s think together how we can help make you feel competent and ready for the next one.”
So what should we do to gain self-compassion?
1. Recognize imperfect beauty
Understand that it is okay to make mistakes, and while we are not perfect, you are good and worthy of love. Get in the habit of forgiving your mistakes and learning from bad experiences rather than clinging to them to achieve your best.
2. Weigh your loads
Sometimes we exaggerate our generosity to people and turn the excessive sacrifices we make into heavy burdens we take on. Calculating all this and acting in moderation is one of the best ways to increase self-compassion. It is inevitable that the things you do unintentionally just to make others happy will turn into mutual misfortune after a while.
3. Keep a gratitude journal
When we put our head on the pillow at night, we often repeat the bad events we experienced during the day or dialogues that cause us stress. Instead, we can help our inner voice become kinder by writing down each day before bed, all the good things you had, the moments that made you happy, or the things you were grateful for.
4. Create your personal space
Create a space where you can read a book, write something, meditate or play sports and drink coffee during the day. Arrange this space as you wish and decorate it to your taste.
5. Make “little things, but a full life” your life philosophy.
Spend your energy, time and money on new experiences and pleasant memories instead of hoarding too much. Don’t forget, the more stuff we have, the more time and savings you’ll need to store, maintain, and restore.
6. Reconnect with your body
Remember that one of the most important ways to connect with our lives is the opportunity to meet our body. (As Alice Miller said, “When the mind lies, the body never lies.”) Not eating when we are hungry, or continuing to eat after we are full, indicates that we are moving away from body awareness. One of the most important ways to achieve self-compassion is to reconnect with your body.
7. Get rid of the “I’m late” mentality
It’s not too late to study for exams, learn a new language, start a business, go back to school, travel the world, start a new life or change your current life. Get rid of the “I’m late” mentality that always stands in front of us as an obstacle, and act now, whatever you want.
8. Be responsible to the world
Michael Norton of Harvard Business School says there is a wealth of data showing that people who spend part of their income on others are much happier than those who spend all their income on themselves. Looking at data from 130 countries, Norton states that in all countries, rich or poor, people who give something of themselves are much happier, and that this is the “universal psychology” of human nature. Remember, if we do a random good deed every day, we can turn the world in the right direction.
9. Make sure you sleep well
Why are we sleeping? Matthew Walker, author of The New Science of Sleep and Dreams, argues that “humans are the only creatures that intentionally deprive themselves of sleep without good reason.” Fun, work, exams, stress… We have many excuses for lack of sleep. However, lack of sleep is not success, but a sign of a chaotic life. Therefore, in any situation, we should strive to improve the quality of sleep.
10. Protect your valuables
I think perhaps the most important component of self-compassion is protecting the values we have in the best possible way. At least aim for it.
Until my next post, take care of yourself and the world…
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